Occurrence and Progression of Stomach Cancer

Previously, we took a look at the causes of stomach cancer, and how to avoid them. Today, we will be discussing the occurrence and progression of stomach cancer. Cancer Institute Hospital of JFCR located a short walk from Ariake Station in Tokyo, is recognized for its large number of quality surgeries. The number of Gastroenterological surgeries is notable, reaching over 2,000 a year. We thank them for this important article contribution.

Occurrence of stomach cancer

Stomach cancer occurs in the innermost layer (mucosa) of the stomach. Once it begins to spread, it expands inside the stomach and invades the deeper stomach layers. Once it grows through the outermost layer (serosa) of the stomach, it can invade adjacent organs—such as the large intestine and pancreas—proliferating cancer cells throughout the abdominal region. At this point, the cancer cells can also invade lymph nodes and blood vessels, and be carried to other parts of the body via lymph and blood flow. This is known as metastasis.

The dissemination of cancer cells via the bloodstream to organs such as the liver and lungs is known as hematogenous metastasis. The dissemination of cancer to other lymph nodes via the lymph system is known as lymphatic metastasis. There is a third form of metastasis known as peritoneal metastasis, where cancer cells are scattered all over the abdominal region like seeds. These are the three major types of metastasis that occur with stomach cancer. Once disseminated, the cancer cells grow and can cause liver failure, water collection in the abdomen, and blockage in the bowels—all conditions that can be fatal.

Progression of stomach cancer (Stages)

The progression of cancer is divided into stages. The stage of cancer is determined by how much the cancer has penetrated the stomach’s layers, the level of lymphatic metastasis, and the presence of metastasis in distant organs such as the liver and lungs, as well as the protective membrane covering the abdominal organs known as the peritoneum. There are four stages, I to IV. Stages I and II are each divided into two sub-stages, A and B, while stage III is divided into three sub-stages, A, B, and C.

Next time, we will take a look at screening of stomach cancer in Japan. The Cancer Institute Hospital of JFCR is part of the HealthyTOKYO Network and offers treatment in Japan as well as cancer screening packages for HealthyTOKYO Premium Members.

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Cancer Institute Hospital of JFCR

Founded in 1934 and has the longest history of any hospital in Japan specializing in cancer diagnosis and treatment.